Lawyers: Christie destroyed Bridgegate evidence
Lawyers in the Bridgegate scandal are accusing Chris Christie of destroying text messages and emails from three separate accounts.
. They say Christie’s taxpayer-funded lawyers are hiding information about his knowledge of the politically-motivated 2013 lane closures at the George Washington Bridge.
“President Nixon’s tapes were not immune from a subpoena,” wrote Michael Baldassare, the attorney for defendant Bill Baroni, in his brief. “Neither is Governor Christie’s phone.”
Among the charges:
- The cell phone used by Christie during the time of the lane closures is missing. Both Christie and federal prosecutors have said they don’t know where it is, and Christie’s legal team from the Gibson Dunn law firm hasn’t said if it still exists.
Christie’s legal team never investigated 12 deleted text messages to and from the governor sent on a key day of legislative testimony during the initial Bridgegate investigation.
- Although Christie’s lawyers cited defendant Bridget Anne Kelly’s deletion of text messages as “evidence of guilt,” Christie also used his personal email and also deleted text messages. This “apparent blind spot for damaging information concerning Governor Christie and his senior staff (except, of course, Ms. Kelly) is hardly surprising because holding others to the same standard as Ms. Kelly would have been disastrous to [Gibson Dunn’s] propaganda campaign,” wrote Michael Critchley, Kelly’s attorney.
- Christie’s legal team failed to turn over emails from his former campaign manager and deputy chief of staff, Bill Stepien, that describe, in detail, the courting of Democratic mayors for endorsements and the use of a taxpayer-funded office, the Intergovernmental Affairs Unit, to do that courting. The defense only found the emails through other sources. It was the refusal by the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee to endorse Christie’s re-election that motivated the lane closures at the heart of the scandal.